Physical Science
(offered every year)

Why take physical science?

Taught by Dawn Corbin

Taught by Dawn Corbin

Have you ever wondered why a ball rolls down a hill or how Big Papi can hit a grand slam?  Have you ever wondered why a kayak floats, but your dad’s keys don’t? Have you ever wondered what life would be like without cars, electricity, TV’s or cell phones?  How did these things come to be? How do they work at the most basic level?

In Physical Science we will have fun answering these questions and many more!  Students will spend the year exploring the fascinating physical world around them and come to realize that the laws of physics and chemistry affect everything they see and experience!

Course Summary

Physical Science is a robust, two-day, middle school science course geared for the 8th grade student.  This course is designed to bridge the gap between introductory middle school science and more rigorous science at the high school level.  Middle school physical science will continue to focus on “Doing & Developing”, but will take the student to the next level.  Students will be exposed to introductory physical science concepts, have expanded exposure to inquiry-based learning, experience STEM integration and practice lab writing.  Students will be challenged to work independently and cooperatively as they move from knowledge and comprehension to application and analysis of physical science concepts.  

Nuts and Bolts of Physical Science

Physical Science includes the study of physics and chemistry at an introductory levelDon’t be intimidated…..we’ll take our time and learn our new vocabulary as we go!

Physics is the study of matter and energy and the interactions between them.  Physics topics to be covered include: laws of motion, forces, energy, machines, electricity, waves, sound, light, and color.  

Chemistry is the study of the composition, properties and reactions of matter, particularly at the level of atoms and molecules.  Chemistry topics to be covered include: matter (phases & properties), atoms, molecules, compounds, acids, bases and chemical reactions. 

Major topics covered 


  • Students will have weekly homework assignments that will include such things as:  reading, research, note taking, review questions, lab preparation, and lab writing.

  • Students will use math in this course.  Math is a wonderful tool that will help us to understand concepts and predict outcomes.

  • Students will experience in-class quizzes and quarterly take home exams.

  • Students will participate in weekly lab investigations, where they will be challenged to put their knowledge to the test.

A sampling of lab investigations:

  • What kind of motion happens when an object rolls down a hill?

  • What is force and how is it measured?

  • What happens when you turn on an electric light?

  • How temperature and heat are related?

  • How does density determine if an object floats or sinks?

  • How do scientists describe what happens in a chemical reaction?

Major Skills Developed

  • General mastery of introductory Physics and Chemistry and practice using math to work scientific solutions.

  • How to succeed in a serious science course

  • Time management/study skills


Physical Science for Middle School

Publisher: CPO Science (2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 158892498X

ISBN-13: 978-1588924988

Middle School Science at New Hope

The aim of middle school science is to capture student’s interest through inquiry and investigation and encourage them to develop the skills necessary to be successful in science. Regardless of interest or natural ability all students can enjoy, be inspired by and succeed in science and middle school is a great place to start!

Middle school science is designed to immerse the middle school student in the process of “doing science” as well as focusing to prepare the middle school child for science at higher levels. Middle school sciences courses will hinge on doing and developing.

DOING - Middle school science provides students with an opportunity to explore their world in a safe, small-group setting that promotes both active, independent learning as well as cooperative learning.  At New Hope we believe that science should be fun and hands-on.  We use an inquiry-based method, where students are challenged to ask questions and use evidence to answer them (NSTA). 

DEVELOPING - For students to be successful it’s important for them to begin to cultivate personal study habits that fit their learning style.  Middle school students need to be given tools that will help them move towards independence.

They should…

  • learn basic organizational skills.

  • be encouraged to practice good time management skills.

  • be encouraged to find solutions to their problems.

  • practice a variety of study techniques that promote good habits.

  • participate in independent study.

  • experience evaluation in a variety of forms.


We believe that it’s important for young scientists to be aware that science topics aren’t applied in isolation and therefore shouldn’t be studied in isolation.  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) is a national initiative to prepare students to study STEM fields in college and pursue STEM-related careers.  It’s important to begin exposing students to STEM integration at a young age and allow them to see how these areas are so closely related.  

Why CPO Science?

CPO Middle School Science books are fun, engaging and informative.  They present topics in a clear and easy to understand manner, offer great mid-week support to our students and provide our tutors with a solid, scientific framework to build their courses on.  CPO also provides STEM integration as well as excellent inquiry-based science activities to use in the classroom. 

“STEM initiatives incorporate the 5 E’s instructional model into the curriculum. The 5 E’s are Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. The CPO Science product line was designed based on the 5E Instructional Model. “
— CPO Website

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